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Camp Create Fall 2016

well… another camp is in the books!
each camp brings such wonderful women to the Craft House.
there was superb crafting time.
we enjoyed meaningful time studying the bible together.
we were fed delicious food.
and so many new friendships were made.

These are all the fabulous ladies that made the magic happen each day.
And below are all the campers that made the week EPIC!
* kimberlee * rhonda * suzanne * emily * erin * donna * ruth * ashley * amanda *
* roxann * debbie * me * linda * andrea * stephanie * amy * rachel *


we had generous sponsors who sent their product for our guests.
i will post about each one separately on my next blog post with links and lots of discount codes.
AND one lucky reader will win a big package of all these goodies!

the weekend before our campers arrived we redecorated the living room at the Craft House making it more “Meg” – aka: C O L O R F U L!
i will also post about that soon too.


Our camp speaker was Ruth Simons.
each day she spoke in the morning and evening taking us through a study of The Beatitudes in Matthew 5.
i loved hearing her words and still thinking over several things she taught.
one of the very best parts about camp, in my opinion, is getting to have the time to SIT and listen to someone speak about Jesus and his love for us.
life is busy.
i love that at camp… it’s slow and calm and intentional.

while we are at camp – we make stuff all day long.
we get messy with paint, glue, glitter, fabric, ribbons and anything else we want.
it’s awesome!

thursday started with Stephanie Ackerman leading us in a mixed media workshop.
i love how stephanie teaches!
she is enthusiastic and passionate about being creative and it’s contagious!
you should take her online class and have as much fun as we did!

skinnysideways-e1470525379263-1000x17Friday Ruth taught a Watercolor Painting workshop.
she is of course a great speaker but her main occupation is as a watercolor artist!
so naturally… we all wanted to learn her tricks.

since it was a basic beginner’s class Ruth had us use inexpensive product so we could learn technique with no pressure.
she’s smart!
here are links to the brushes, watercolor paint set and watercolor paper we used if you wanted to try it at home.

these were Ruth’s and everyone else’s pretty paintings of the flowers….
and i painted this!
ha ha haaaaaaaa!

Ashley Campbell taught a workshop on Lino Cut Print Making.
ashley is crafting jedi.
she can make anything and make it look easy and beautiful too.
ao she rocked at this course on saturday as i knew she would!

if you’ve never tried Lino Cutting – you need to!
it was so much fun!

we decided on our designs and then carved them into the stamp.
it’s tricky and backwards to have to think in negative space!
then we used fabric paint and stamped the design onto tea towels and canvas bags.
this was my chicken stamp i made… i used this artwork by Caren Loebel-Fried as my inspiration.
she’s got a really pretty shop!
Thanks pinterest for always helping us to find new amazing artists!!

annnnd ashley even made me my very own stamp of the amazing watercolor painting from the night before.
we laughed so much about those silly thrift store glasses all weekend.

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here are links to the products we used for this project:

Lino cutting tool — Rubber Print Block — Fabric Paint  — Rubber Brayer — Inking Plate — Tea Towels

i led a project of making wood bunting with chalk board paint on one side and decoupaged fabric on the other with felt pom poms strung between.
These are SO FUN to make… but hard to photograph.

we had guests from texas, south carolina, california, oregon, oklahoma, new mexico, georgia and kansas.
it’s pretty cool how god brings women together over creativity.
Kimberlee Jost runs the kitchen at Camp.
Her cousin Rachel came this time to be her kitchen help.
they had the best time cooking and chatting all week.  🙂

kimberlee’s meals are always such a treat!
and at night when you’re deep in the trenches of crafting… she brings you a piece of pie!
it’s THE BEST!
as always – we took a field trip out to my favorite antique shop Bearly Makin’ It.
everyone came back with treasures – everything from quilts to antlers.

so…. i get to the end of these posts and i never quite know what to say.
it’s hard to sum up the time we have together.
it is special, unique and basically just awesome.

God knew what he was doing 12 years ago when He sent craig & i to kansas from chicago to this great big old house with five little kids.
He knew that it would be a beautiful place for memories.
i thought that meant for my kids.
and we did have the best time in that house!
but He had an even grander plan all along to bring women together {{strangers!}} from all over the place to be refreshed, inspired, encouraged and loved.
and make crafts and eat cake.
i NEVER could’ve come up with that idea!
it sounds wild.
and IT IS!!!
because loving God is a totally wild adventure in every way.

He is so good to you & me.

i am so grateful for these women, this job and the Craft House.
all the heart eyes!!!!


keep your eyes out int he next two weeks for the next camp dates in 2017.

Sara - Wow, so many amazing crafts! Love the stamps and the flower paintings, and the Meg-with-thrifted-price-tag-on-her-glasses painting–hilarious! As for sponsor swag, I would LOVE to know where to buy the little sign with crocheted heart that says, “You are worth more than your hustle.” Thanks.

CSL - Rachel is one of my dearest friends. It was all I could do to not stow away in her suitcase and join y’all. Isn’t she a GEM?!?! Next time…

Linda Bartone - It was a totally awesome week, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to all of you for making it such a special time! I’m ready to come again…

Iris Brown - Now this was my cup of tea!!!! How soul quenching to create something AND get some Word! Happy sigh. . . Food like that is cherry on top.

Kimberly Oyler - so so so fun to see my bestest friend there with you!! she gave me suuuch a good report of her time there and i’m so happy she was able to come! wish it could have been me though!!

Jennifer - Smile….that’s all I did while I read this. Thank you for opening your house and allowing us to be a part of it. I consider myself blessed to be a part of the CC alumni. God is definitely cool and amazing.

Donna Harris - Meg, We are all Thankful for you and all that you bring to Camp Create!! Amazing times, amazing women and an Amazing God!
Thanks so much to all of you , Donna

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Fair Trade Friday

i love to share about organizations that are changing the world.
i am inspired when i read about women who see a need and get busy helping.
when they find ways to empower women in poverty through employment or education or prenatal care or counseling AND i can be a part of it right here in my home in my pajamas at 10PM with The Office on Netflix – it is the coolest!
today i want to share about Mercy House Global.


Those are some pretty heavy issues!
So I love to see the BIG vision that comes right afterwards.

One way that Mercy House can live out their vision is through a subscription program they created called


You can chose your subscription based on the amount your would like spend,

OR you can choose by how many goodies arrive each month.

The best part is that it’s all fair trade and ALL the money go to the artisans who crafted it.


Fair Trade Friday exists as an avenue for women to empower women.
We are tackling poverty through job opportunity and empowerment rather than enablement in Jesus’ name.
100% of the proceeds support the artisans, thousands of women and their children around the world.
FTF is a ministry of 
Mercy House Global, a non-profit organization.

Fair Trade Friday is a monthly subscription club that delivers a box of fair trade items to your door every month.
“The beauty of Fair Trade Friday is that when a person gets that box of product,
they have literally enabled mothers around the world to put food on the table, to pay school fees
for their kids and to be employed”

Please click over to Mercy House Global and read all about it.
and definitely watch the video!
The founder of Mercy House, Kristen Welch tells the story of starting Mercy House Global
and the impact that it is making in the world.

Anyone who joins by September 17th will still receive their box in September.
Join the club!


“It’s not just something cute to wear.
It’s not just another accessory.  It’s changing the world for these women.”

– Kristen Welch


Kristen Welch - You’re the best! xoxo

Sabrina - I just ordered the Bracelet of the Month!

Kimberlee Jost - What a great idea! I love this evidence of good in the world today. Yay Fair Trade Friday!

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back to school ’16

another school year has begun.
annie in 6th grade… talby is a freshman… sean a sophomore… scott started college!
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how fun are those overalls?!
between that and the birks i thought it 1994 again.
and annie’s shirt – i wish it came in my size!
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one thing that is different about this school year is that sean has his driver’s license!
he is LOVING the freedom that brings.

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starting school is a great reason for donuts (if anyone needs a reason).
scotty started his freshman year at Tabor College.
i cried.
but i’m excited for him… he’s going to do GREAT!
i mean he’s got 36 Ramens – what else would he need?
i made his bed one last time.
and hit my head three times!
we have dropped a child off at college once already but it didn’t get easier.
it’s HARD to walk away and leave your kid!
but our pastor reminded me this morning that getting the years with our kids that we do is a gift!
we get time with them in our homes and in our every day and then they have to move on.
we raise them to leave.
it’s good.
it hurts but it’s a good hurt… it’s growth!

what a privilege to be all these kids’ mom!!

🙂  Scotty i miss you!
do your best and try hard in all your classes!
i am so glad i get to be your mom!   🙂
and then… craig and i took off for a weekend away with NO kids!
we realized it was the only weekend before sports and all the STUFF for the next two months so we got outta town!
it was such a great way to ease into the new transition.
we slept!
we went to movies both nights!
we ate really good mexican food!
and talked lots and lots about everything.
it was a great weekend!

and just for fun….
funny how my oldest child isn’t in ANY of the group back to school photos….

and all of her elementary school first day pictures aren’t digital.
oh well.
she DID go to school even if she didn’t get in the photos.


Sharon / tpt - I agree with you. I agree with your Pastor, and I agree with your getaway!♡

Kasey - These pictures made me cry too. The tears started when you said you made his bed one last time. I want to freeze time with my 8 and 5 year old boys.

Tina - I just love your posts! I just see so many similarities between your 5 and my 5. Love it!

Ps-Talby’s shirt does come in your size. I’m wearing it today. Got it at Target. Going back to by the other colors it comes in. Don’t forget your cartwheel app too….it’s 20% off.

Jenny B. - I ditto Kimberlee! They have grown so much, and it’s crazy how time moves so much faster as we get older. Sigh… I needed to read this today. My oldest (6th grade) has been driving me nuts lately. I need to remember that my time with him is a gift. <3

Ruth Elder - Seeing the old photos just reminds me of how long I have been following your blog! lol And also that I need to plant more flowers next year.

Kimberlee Jost - Were they really that young when you lived at the farm? But it wasn’t that long ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tracy - We took our second oldest to Ku last week.You’re right! It wasn’t any easier than the first! Thanks for sharing what your pastor said…I love that and will try to keep that in mind!

Kelly Munger - The picture of Scott standing in his room, the one after you on the bed, made me cry! Why??? My oldest is just a freshman in high school so I still have a few years until that’s my boy standing in his dorm room but I’m already feeling the hurt of his growing up. How is he almost done here?! (this is seriously too much for a Monday!)

Patti - I only hae one….he is 28 now but when we dropped him off at college I think I sobbed for two weeks….I was nothing short of a hot mess lol… when he comes home at 28 i’m like ok…it’s time for you to go home and leave a mess of dishes in your own sink! lol

Tiffany - The throwbacks tho, priceless.

Beth - Well that was all fun and games until you posted the throwback pictures…and I cried! And I don’t even know you personally. Oh, it’s all too much! My girls are the age of your throw back pictures and it got me. Gosh, this mom stuff is so good…and so hard!

beth larson - Meg…what a great post, I especially loved all the old first day of school photos you took the time to post. All just so darling. The other fave? The case of Ramen noodles…haha

Kristi Rediske - I love how waffle is looking out your door in the going back to school pics-I think he is wondering why he doesn’t get to be in any pictures-the black dog does-HA! I love seeing the pictures through the years you posted, time goes so quickly-I am so glad someone invented cameras so we can have those precious memories to look back on.

Iris Brown - I cried while reading your entire post. So true. I then chuckled in the end.

Lori - Love the back to school pictures, and I can’t believe Scott is starting college! Glad you got a grown-up weekend to yourselves before all the crazy sets in 🙂

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my summer happy spot

we spend most summer & fall evenings outside on the back porch.
and right now all the plants are bursting out of their pots and it’s so colorful!

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i loved getting back into gardening again after taking a break for a few years.
i missed it!
i like to plant in all kinds of old containers.

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my love for rust and chippy paint goes to extremes when it comes to outdoor spaces.
my friend who lives several hours away found the green cubby and sent me a text saying “i think you need this”
i agreed and sent her money through paypal.   🙂
and a month later her husband dropped it off while he was in town.
it was three times bigger than i thought it would be.
which made me love it three times more!
i think maybe i will figure out how to plant succulents in it???
wouldn’t that be something?!
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the butterfly sign is from Jaxn Blvd.
the little fan, the egg sign and the black rooster sign are from tjmaxx.

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a view of our fire pit area… which is about to get maxed out!
it’s almost chilly enough now in the evenings for camp fires!
we are all looking forward to that.

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this black & white sign is also from Jaxn Blvd!
it’s the perfect quote for this space… exactly how i feel.
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Delta Girl Frames sent me this fun rainbow frame!
i can always hang a photo or print in it later but loved it just as a statement on its own.

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craig hung outdoor speakers this year and his big tv.
i wasn’t thrilled about the tv but apparently every inch of the house doesn’t belong to me?
and now that it’s there… i don’t mind it at all.
it’s mostly for sports on mute so he can enjoy the outside too and not be stuck inside when the game is on.
and the speakers are awesome!
we have music on pretty much all the time and they are perfect for outdoor movie nights!

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the outdoor rugs were from world market, along with the orange stripe table cloth and several pillows.

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annie and some friends spent their last summer night out in the tent.
they really roughed it by dragging out twin mattresses, extention cords to charge their phones and a dvd player.

this is our resident toad who has shown up every evening for two summers now.
we have named him Beuford.
he clearly has found PLENTY of bugs at our house.
he is quite a big toad.
people on IG mentioned that he may be poisonous…. i am 99.9% sure he is just a regular old kansas country toad.
i like him and i appreciate all the bugs he keeps away.
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our kitty Jay Z likes to hide behind the plants to be safe from curious dogs.

the very back of the yard is the chicken coop.
filled with all my favorites clucky ladies.
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it’s going to be really weird when they cut that corn down.

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so that is my happy space.
where i have coffee every morning and most dinners and hanging out each night.
happy happy happy!


meg duerksen - The garland is made from gingham fabric napkins I found last year at Target. I chopped them up and made bunting.

Amy - This is amazing! What a blessing for your family. Love the color everywhere! How did you make the checkered garland?

Eight Things | a glass of milk - […] journal; Meg’s porch; tv bullet […]

The Countess of Nassau County - Best. Backyard. Ever. I love this.

Lindsey - Bravo! Every single detail is lovely!

Mickie Lara - That looks like SUCH a happy place to me. I could sit out there for hours. Our plants have just not done well at all this summer so our pots look SO sad and yours look amazing! We are just going to consider it a write off for this summer and concentrate on Fall.

CiCi - Where did you find the rainbow striped pillow? Love it!

Cassandra - Love it!! All that color, all the chippyness, just perfect!

Sharilee Ensz - your yard is soooooo beautiful. we have sandy soil and we cant grow much. our back yard is clumpy grass, sand, and cat poop. you must be the coolest person in the world to have as a mom!! (i love my mom too) 🙂 🙂 i love you!!!:) 🙂 😛

Lisa - Those beautiful pentas and lantana are my favorites! AND the happy doggy faces – so funny!

Kelly Krause - I love this whole space! It must be pretty protected, cuz I thought the winds would howl over your Kansas plains. I know I could never pull that off up here in MN!

Kelly Krause - I love this whole space! It must be pretty protected, cuz I thought the winds would howl over your Kansas planes. I know I could never pull that off up here in MN!

amy - Megan– where’d you find the grey slip-on Chucks? I have them in a lighter grey that were exclusive to Nordstroms–I need a new pair and they’re out in my size. Love yours!

Talia - What a gorgeous spot! You have quite the green thumb. I love flowers and would spend every free moment on your lovely porch!

Michelle from Australia - Annie and I have the same thoughts on camping! Way to go girl.

And I wonder just how much excess luggage I will be bringing back home with me after my visit to Kansas in November? I suspect it might be some…..

Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures.

Beth - This space is FLIPPIN’ adorable. Well done! I’m inspired now. I dabbled in potted plants and mixing up containers this summer, but I’m committed to amping up my plant game next spring! Love this! Now to find a cat in Alabama named Jay Z…

meg duerksen - Tiffany – yes most guys would. Craig doesn’t seem to care so I’m happy about that. Life’s too short to worry about nail holes in the walls. ☺️

meg duerksen - It’s some kind of wood product siding – not aluminum. I just screw right into it. Most husbands would flip out but Craig’s cool about most things like that. ☺️

meg duerksen - Rhonda – it’s some kind of painted carving. I can’t recall where from. It was at the barn we go to for camp and a camper bought it for me as a gift.

meg duerksen - Dawn – yes! I get a hammer and a big screwdriver and I bang on the screwdriver with the hammer until it goes through. Repeat four times. That’s how I make the holes in my containers. It’s not fancy. And it’s loud. But it works!

meg duerksen - Holly – I water everyday and fertilized three times this summer. 🙂

meg duerksen - Heather – gardening for fall? I don’t do that because everything will freeze soon after. I’m not a planner either. I just go to the nursery in May and buy what looks good. I go to four or five different nurseries though… Not just one. And I get what looks best at each of them. It’s always different.

heather - i would love love love it if you could share your gardening plans for fall ahead of time so my plants could even be 1/10th as fabulous as yours! what a beautiful space you’ve created.

Heidi - I really love this space. I wish it were this awesome at my house too. I guess I have work to do. Maybe when my kids (9, 6, and an 8 month old) get older I will put more time and effort into pretty things! Thanks so much for sharing. 💗

Tammy - Wow, it’s absolutely perfect! Thanks Meg for sharing it with us!

Holly - Love all the color and your plants look phenomenal! Do you water a bunch or use a lot of fertilizer? If so how often? My Texas container garden is getting through by the skin of it nose.

Dawn - One question–do you drill drainage holes in your metal containers? Just curious how they drain. I love the look!

Rhonda Elder - Such a cozy, beautiful space. I’m curious about the colorful painting to the left of the window. What is it?

Kristen - How do you hang things on the house’s siding? Does your husband flip out at you decorating the exterior walls at all? Love the look!

Tracy - Well…simple enough! 🙂 Thanks, Meg!

Marsha Kern - It is beautiful! I love the containers!

Tiffany - Truly, what a H A P P Y porch area!! Love every inch of it! How do you hang the pictures on your house/siding? I think my husband will croak if I hammer nails in our siding… 🙁

meg duerksen - Katie – only the side with the white cabinet gets wet when it rains really hard and it just drys out pretty quickly when it’s over.
and i may take stuff down in the winter but i may not. It depends on how severe our winter gets. 🙂

meg duerksen - tracy we just use bug spray.

Tracy - Meg – I love it!! I love your porch and I love how you do movie nights and ice cream sundae parties out there! But one thing I always wonder when looking at your awesome pictures is how do you deal with mosquitos? I LOVE to be outside in the evenings as well. Summer nights are the BEST! 🙂 But the mosquitos chase us away within minutes! Do you have a secret you could share? 🙂 Thanks!!!

Tiffany Day - love it so much! Thank you for posting more pictures – its inspiration for me – I really want to get my back porch/deck decorated!! and being that is uncovered thrifted chippy stuff is PERFECT!!!! love it all!! thanks again for sharing!

Katie - Loveeeee it! What all do you take down/bring in in the winter? And what about in the rain? Just super curious 🙂

Jennifer Greeley - Your plants look amazing. The Texas heat just about killed everything but the sweet potato vines in my backyard. I hope you get to enjoy your space for many more months!

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